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For bayou Indians, spill threatens a way of life

January 31, 2011

Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of BP's $20 billion oil spill compensation fund, says he wants to pay American Indians in coastal Louisiana who no longer can live off the land as they once had.

At a recent meeting with American-Indian tribes, Feinberg said claims should be paid to people who must now go to the store to buy what they once got from hunting or fishing.

There are about 20,000 American Indians in coastal Louisiana, and tribal leaders say they're worried members won't get compensated fairly. They're working with a New York City law firm to help tribal members in the claims process.

The spill has created uncertainty among American Indian communities, which were already battered by hurricanes and social changes.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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